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A Tribute to Life and a Mission for a Cure

Chris Battle Bonaventure

I met my late husband on Capitol Hill. We were congressional aides drinking our way through Washington. In the summer of 2000, he decided to return to his roots in journalism and took a job in Arkansas. We stayed in touch, and over time, we developed a relationship through writing. What began as funny texts and silly emails morphed into long letters and eventually long phone calls. We fell in love through words, which became the hallmark of our marriage.

Today would have been Chris’s 48th birthday. As some of you may know, I ask everyone on this day to remember Chris by sharing something that he wrote, to post their favorite “Battle.” An e-mail, a blog post, even an editorial, something that Chris wrote that speaks to you. I hope you’ll share these on Facebook. I also hope you’ll consider making a donation in Chris’s honor today—to celebrate his life, as well as his work.

Below are some very special words he wrote to me. On the day before I left Washington to move to Arkansas – to marry Chris – he wrote:

“Perhaps we will lead charmed lives together and never face any sadness. I hope that we do. But sometimes things don’t work out that way. We may face the kind of sad, awful darkness that breaks lives apart. I’ve read of people who’ve lost a child and never recovered. I’ve read of people who’ve lost their life savings, their homes, everything they’d worked for. Of people who’ve lost their way, and somehow their hope. Whatever we face in life, if we face it together, we’ll always be okay. We must always be there for each other. No matter what. That is my commitment to you: I will always be here for you. You can count on my love. Always.”

We never could have known how prescient those words would be. He was true to his commitment. He was always there for me. And he still is.

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Dena Battle is the President and cofounder of KCCure.

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